Writing Goals for 2021
Did someone turn back the clock or forget to hit the reset button? Don't we get to hit reset when the ball drops for the New Year? Seems like 2021 might soon be a year people will yearn to forget–heck, that's probably the case for some people already. Let me say this, I never expected to be living the plot of Star Wars episodes I through III in actual, factual, real life!
Anyway, this is the time of year to think about goals. This has been harder than usual this week, but I find that putting my writing goals to digital paper helps bring them to fruition so I persevered. In past years, my goals were a bit more scattershot than this year. This year, I want to finish the rough draft of my epic fantasy WIP and move on to the editing process. Finishing the rough draft is doable. Right now, I am sitting at about 60,000 words, which puts the draft at roughly–this is a bit of a guesstimate–between 55% to 60% complete. I'm pretty happy with my pace, especially considering that I was at about 46,000 words at the end of November. With any luck, I'll be finishing off the rough draft no later than mid-April.
The editing process aspect of my goal is a bit more malleable. Ideally, I'll have a perfectly edited manuscript by the end of the year. Realistically, that's a stretch goal. I have learned some things over the past year that I think will make the process more streamlined and result in a better story. I've become a big believer in focusing each editing pass on a particular aspect of the manuscript. For example, for one pass, I might focus on the dialogue and wait for another pass to worry aspects of world-building. I think this results in a couple of positive outcomes. Each editorial cycle doesn't take as long, and by forcing myself to focus on one aspect of the writing, I can really nail down the details earlier in the overall editing process. At least, that's the theory. Also, I've learned a lot recently regarding editing to show.
To make a long story short, I don't know how far I'll be in the editing process by the end of the year. I'm also leaning toward hiring a professional editor at some point. Having taken the plunge last year, I know it's not the be-all-end-all to achieving the best possible manuscript, but it does speed along the process of creating a polished novel.